Types of power which may be used to change programs
Discuss about the Analysis Of The Power Elements Of Hoefsted’s Cultural.
Organizational change refers to the dual process followed by the change in company or organization in terms of its operational techniques, structure of the organization, entire structure and also strategies and the causes that drive the changes (Cummings and Worley 2014, 28-48). There are two dimensions to power-positive power has the ability to motivate the employees, resolve their problems and encourage them to deliver their best performance. On the other negative power can be coercive and lead to conflicts in the organization and attrition of the employees. This essay explores the contention that national culture has implications on the deployment and acceptance of power in the transformation of programs. This will be further navigated by a comparative analysis of the power elements of Hoefsted’s cultural aspects related to Singapore and Australia. The essay firstly discusses different types of power that is utilized in changing programs. Secondly, it discusses the positive and negative aspects of power in changing the programs. Thirdly, it explores the power-related aspects of the Hoefsted model and lastly, the essay compares the power-related aspects of Hoefsted’s dimensions of Singapore and Australia. The essay will be beneficial for organizations and enterprises to understand the different strategies that needs to be adopted depending on the national culture.
The term power refers to the exercise of influence, the ability to control and the discretion to exercise authority. There are five basis of power that can be divided into two categories. The first category is the formal power and the second category is personal power. Formal power comprises of coercive, legitimate and reward power and personal power includes expert and referent power. Some of the types of power that may be adopted to bring in change in the organization setting and behavior are expert power which emphasizes on the possession of superior knowledge and skills (Carluccio and Maria 2015, 162-181). Expert power emanates from experience of the leader or entrepreneur in a specific area that is acquired with the tide of time. The second power that can be used is informational power that is marked by the possession of adequate knowledge by the individual. Another power that is essential for an organization is the reward power that indicates the ability of the person to motivate others through offering promotion, hiking the salary structure and also through awarding the employees to perform better and recognizing their contributions. This is basically motivating the employees for compliance with each others’ aspirations (Fleming and André 2014, 237-298). The fourth type of power that can be utilized by the organization is referent power. The notion of such power emphasizes on the ability to communicate approval or personal acceptance. Referent power can be exercised in a situation when the employees have faith in the entrepreneur or the higher authority. This type of power is exuded by people with a charismatic personality, honesty, integrity and different kinds of endowments. The fifth type of power in the context of the organizations is legitimate power that harps upon the exercise of power by a higher authority on the subordinates without the abuse of power. This power can be exercised when the employees in the organization acknowledge the authority of the employer.
Positive and negative aspects of the use power in change program
The term positive power or induction refers to the ability to embark on activity. On the other hand, the concept of negative power refers to the resistance that is concerned with the ability to halt an activity. Successful leadership can accelerate the induction rather leading to resistance. This is known as the positive aspect of power. Positive aspect of power lies in attempting to avoid resistance that can spark secondary conflicts. According to Bartz et al (2017, 1-8) proponents of authentic leadership or positive leadership strive to see the potential of the employees and empower the employees to seek responsibility for their course of action. Eminent political figures namely Franklin Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela and Ronald Reagan. Leaders following appositive power model would try to alter the situation of the employees and motivate them to deliver their best performance. The leaders exercising positive power are aware that meaningful and protracted progress in an organization is characterized with a series of trials and tribulations (Muenjohn and Anona 2015, 65). The exercise of positive power is consistent with the positive psychology movement propounded by psychologist Martin Seligman. Positive power entails the establishment of human strength, ameliorating the problems of the people in the organization thereby making their lives more fulfilling and also through inculcating the talent that is present in the individuals (Brandsen,and Marlies 2016, 427-435.)The negative exercise of power includes scrutinizing the developmental report of the employees and highlighting only the weakness. Negative power amounts to conflict among the employees and also the lack of leadership. There would be minimum productivity. There would be dysfunction evident throughout the department that maybe attributed to negative leadership. Negative power also leads to high rate of attrition among the employees therefore indicating tumultuous relationship with the employer. Another aspect of negative power is that the leader of an organization is invisible and only available for dictating instructions to the employees (Fitzgerald 2017, 130-138). Negative power also amounts to improper training of the employees thus leading to the devaluation of the potential of the employees.
Geert Hofstede is credited for his cultural dimension model that has become a culturally recognized model of research. Hofstede has studies employees in IBM spanning across 50 countries. He recognized four aspects that have the ability of one culture from another culture (Hofstede 2014, 25- 100). Initially, there was four-basis of power, later two aspects have been added. Hoefstede, Minkov and bond rated each of the countries in the scale of 0 to 100. These dimensions are as follows:
- Power Distance Index (high vs. low)- This model indicates that if the PDI (Power Distance Index) is high for a country then it is reflective of the unequal status and stratified position of the individuals in the society. On the other hand, a low PDI score insinuates that there is equitable sharing and distribution of power.
- Collectivism vs. Individualism- This model defines the intensity of the ties people share with one another. A high IDV score is indicative of the weak ties in the context of interpersonal relationship. People shoulder lesser liability for the action of other members (Pous et al. 2015, 57-77).This is evident in the Individualist society. On the other hand in a collectivist society, people are seen to be loyal to the other members of the group. It is usually a large group and people take accountability of others.
- Femininity vs. Masculinity (MAS) - This dimension is concerned with the allocation of responsibilities and roles between women and men. In societies that that oriented towards women there is an overlap between women and men. In such countries modesty is considered as a virtue (Coelho 2015, 420-427). There is an emphasis on cordial relationships between the direct supervisors and the concerned person. Countries with rate of MAS are shown to strong ego and money is considered as a parameter for achievement.
- Uncertainty avoidance index (high vs. low) (UAI) - This aspect is concerned with the assessment of ways in which people cope with anxiety. For the residents in high UAI zones there is an attempt to make life controllable and predictable. Countries with low UAI index display a more inclusive and relaxed disposition. Countries with high UAI index are conservative and rigid disposition and follow social conventions (Marsh, Mark and Natasha 2016, 137-145). Countries with low UAI veer towards innovation and change. They show predilection towards decision making.
- Normative vs. Pragmatic (PRA) - This dimension refers to the extent to which people have to describe and define the inexplicable and is associated with nationalism and religiosity.
The large power distance in Hoefsted’s conceptualization of power entails the different degrees to which power differentials in the organization and business enterprise are configured. Autocratic leadership, paternalistic management, characterizes societies with large power distance accepting power that is replete with privileges and several hierarchical phases. Authority that is decentralized, style of management that is participatory, organizational structures that are flat and a predilection towards egalitarianism characterize societies with small power distance (Aarons et al. 2017). Countries with strong with weak UA is characterized by taking risks and countries with strong UA are characterized by avoidance of risk. Societies with individualistic culture focus on the self and value autonomy of the individual. For societies with collective orientation, focus on regulating the behavior through the implementation of group norms (Rodríguez-Carvajal et al. 2016, 749-760). Societies showing a masculine disposition have clear cut gender roles and societies with feminine culture have overlapping gender roles.
Hofstede’s cultural dimensions
In case of Australia, there is low score on the power distance scale that is 36 per cent. In this case hierarchy is embedded in convenience and the managers are available for the employees to guide and motivate them. On the score of individualism, Australia scores 90 per cent, thus indicating an individualist orientation. Promotion is based on merit and performance. Australia demonstrates a high score of masculinity that indicates that it is driven by competition. There is a low score on femininity indicating that the general attitude is to care for others. On the dimension of uncertainty avoidance Australia scores 51 per cent. Australia has a normative culture and scores 21 per cent (Saleem, Salman and Jorma 2017, 247-263). They have a deep respect for traditional thoughts. Australia is an indulgent country and have a high score of 71 per cent.
The Hoefsted model of Singapore show that it has a 74 per cent power index, 20 per cent individual index, 48 per cent on masculinity index, 8 per cent score on uncertainty avoidance index and 48 per cent in long term orientation index. This indicates that Singapore is a country characterized by collective orientation, people are less powerful and there is unequal distribution of power. Both males and females in Singapore have equal opportunities for participation (Kuusela, Thomas and Markku 2014, 1101-1120). There is an equipoise between the masculine and feminine values. Singaporeans are found to be risk takers and love challenges. The long term orientation index indicates that in Australia, it is neither long-term nor short-term. The high power index indicates that marketing luxury products and global level brands will be smooth. In Singapore, marketing products should be concerned with the collectivity and requirements of the family.
The essay encapsulated the two main types of power that is formal power and personal power. In these, referent power, legitimate power, reward power, informational power and expertise power will be instrumental for the change programs. Positive and negative and its effects on the organization. A leader exercising positive power leads to the growth of the organization whereas a leader exercising negative power leads to attrition rate, troubled relationship between the employer and employee, and close relationship between the hierarchy. Dr. Hoefsted propounded the Hoefsted’s cultural dimension that has five main dimensions like power distance, uncertainty avoidance index, collectivism versus individuality, normative versus pragmatic, femininity versus masculinity. There is also an exploration into the characteristics of these different aspects of power proposed by Hoefstede. Finally there is a comparative analysis between Singapore and Australia. The main argument of the essay was to examine the implications of national culture on the use and acceptance of power in change programs. Another concern of the essay was the comparison between the power-related aspects of Hoefsted’s cultural dimension. This essay provides an acuminous insight into the cultural aspects that needs to be kept in mind while setting up an organization or an enterprise in these countries.
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